Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s strong stance on illegal immigration has already drawn serious backlash from the restaurant industry, and celebrity chefs Jose Andres and Geoffrey Zakarian have pulled restaurants from Trump’s new Washington, D.C., hotel. Now ex-cook and current world-traveling TV host Anthony Bourdain is getting into the mix. Bourdain made an appearance on SiriusXM’s StandUP With Pete Dominick and defended America’s undocumented workers.
I grew up in the restaurant business — 30 years in the restaurant business. I came out of, like a lot of other white kids, I rolled out of a prestigious culinary institute and went to work in real restaurants. I walked into restaurants and always, the person who had been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American. The backbone of the industry – meaning most of the people in my experience cooking, preparing your food. Twenty of those years in this business I was an employer, I was a manager employer. Never, in any of those years, not once, did anyone walk into my restaurant — any American-born kid — walk into my restaurant and say I’d like a job as a night porter or a dishwasher. Even a prep cook — few and far between. Just not willing to start at the bottom like that.
Bourdain went on to say that if Trump were to win the presidency and deport 11 million illegal immigrants, “every restaurant in America would shut down,” and restaurant owners share his sentiment because “they’d be up the creek. … It is really, really getting hard to find people to do the jobs.”
It’s not the first time Bourdain has commented on Trump. He previously said The Donald “offends me” and the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City is “the enemy of the human spirit.” Bourdain hasn’t given his coveted endorsement for the 2016 election, but he threw his support behind Barack Obama in 2012 and 2008.